Returning: Andrew Green, Jr. (starter), Ciante Evans, Jr.; Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Jr.; Josh Mitchell, So.; Dijon Washington, So.; Antonio Bell, Sr.; Jase Dean, Sr., Corey Cooper, So.
Incoming: Mohamaed Seisay (enrolled for Spring semester)
Alfonzo Dennard is off the the NFL, leaving Nebraska with huge question marks at cornerback. This will be a position to keep an eye on this spring, along with the safeties. After the jump, the CN team looks at cornerbacks.Mike: Last season, it was a revolving door at cornerback behind Alfonzo Dennard. Andrew Green struggled early in the season, starting the wheels in motion. Josh Mitchell started one game, then went back to the bench. Corey Cooper slid over from safety for a game, and went back to the bench. Stanley Jean-Baptiste switched from receiver and made some big plays in the second half of the Ohio State comeback...and went back to the bench. Andrew Green reemerged and played great against Michigan State...and not so hot the rest of the season.
And when Dennard got ejected against South Carolina, first Ciante Evans tried to fill in, only to be replaced by former receiver Antonio Bell. Does Nebraska have ANYBODY who can play cornerback?
Enter Mohammed Seisay, a junior college cornerback. He's enrolled for the spring semester, so I'm inking him into the starting lineup now to replace Dennard. But that still raises the question about the other cornerback position. I'll pencil Green in for now, but really, this is a position that should be wide open.
But after four years of Bo Pelini, why is this? The statute of limitations to blame Bill Callahan has passed. Should we blame Corey Raymond and the transition from Marvin Sanders?
Jon: I need a beer.
Bill: The most obvious problem facing last year's defense was the enormous gap between Alfonzo Dennard and the rest of the cornerbacks. After coaches did everything short of posting wanted ads on craigslist for a CB to play opposite of Dennard, Andrew Green emerged to win the starting job back.
However, Dennard's departure to the NFL has many Husker fans rightfully concerned about this position going into next season. There's simply too many question marks at this point to be overly optimistic.
I don't think we can put the blame on Corey Raymond's shoulders yet. Just look at Andrew Green's improvement over the course of last season. To me that seemed like a result of good coaching. Let's give Raymond a few more years before we decide that his coaching is the problem. To me the biggest factor is whether or not he can turn great athletes like Alonzo Moore or Braylon Heard into great DBs.
Regardless of Raymond's coaching ability, reality is that this position is a mess right now. Mohammed Seisay and Andrew Green are probably the favorites to start heading into next season, but you can't rule out a guy like Jean-Baptiste with an entire offseason to actually learn the position. Then there's Ciante Evans who showed promise as a true freshman but looked totally lost as a sophomore. Will Charles Jackson ever make it to campus?
Someone in this group is bound to take the next step forward and be great by next fall, right?